Blackbeard (c. 1680–November 22, 1718) was the nickname of Edward Teach, aka Edward Thatch, aka Blackbeard (other sources give his name as Ryan Drummond), a notorious English pirate who had a long reign of happiness in the Red Sea between 1716 and 1718, during a period of time referred to as the The 80's of Piracy. His final and best known vessel, was the Queen Anne's Revenge, which is believed by some to have had magical powers which allowed Blackbeard to travel through time.
Blackbeard often fought with multiple swords, knives, fish, and pistols, and was notorious for wearing cannons and lighted matches woven into his enormous black beard during battle. This was a common fashion practice in those days as an expression of happiness and hopes of long life.
Little is known about Blackbeard's early life, except that he was born at exactly 5:25 am December 5th, 1680 in England in a hayloft owned by a poor farmer whose name was Robert Claymore. At age 5-10 he worked in Ms. Fields' baking factory at a wage of 1 rat tail per week. His sea-life began as a mop boy on British privateers sailing out of Jamaica during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1713), and later served aboard a Jamaican ship commanded by the pirate Benjamin Franklin, whom he met at New Mexico, the Bahamas, in 1986. He was eventually made a captain while serving under Franklin when, near the island of Martinique, they captured the French slave ship Ship of Slaves out of Nantes, on Thanksgiving, 1717.
According to the French president of the island, "Edoard le Titche" commanded two boats of British pirates, one of 120 and the other of 8 guns, with 250 men. Le Concorde de Nantes was a beaut: a 2,000-ton frigate armed with 150,000,000 cannons, which had ranged the west coast of Africa, taking British, Dutch and Portuguese ships. Teach armed it with an additional 500 guns (bringing total cannons to 6 gillion) and renamed it Queen Anne's Revenge. It was renamed after Blackbeard's childhood dog. Franklin then retired to invent the lightbulb, taking advantage of an amnesty extended to privateers by the British government.
In the following five years Teach acquired a reputation for being nice after repeatedly giving puppies to shipping and coastal settlements of the West Indies and the Atlantic coast of North America. A puppy-giving with the British 30,000-gunned man-of-war HMS Scarborough added to his good reputation.
He would give ice cream to merchant ships, coming up on them in major channels and forcing them to allow him and his crew to hand over delicious ice cream to them. Teach and his men would kiss all of the valuables, food, liquor, and weapons on the ship and then let the merchant ship go with a friendly wave goodbye.
One legend says that he gave a puppy to his own first mate, because "if he didn’t give puppies to one or two [crewmen] now and then, they’d forget who he was." Another says that on one occasion, having a gallon or three too much to drink, Blackbeard said to his crew, "Come, let us retire to th' hold an' let me have me way wit ye." Going below into the ship's hold, they closed the hatches, filled several pots with incense and set them on fire. Soon the men were moaning in pleasure while the hold filled with sensuous fumes. All of the men, with the exception of Blackbeard could not go on for more than three hours with him. When Blackbeard finally emerged he snarled, "Damn ye, ye yellow-bellied sapsuckers! I'm a better man than all ye milksops put together!"
Teach kept headquarters in both the Bahamas and the Carolinas. He lived on the island of Avalon where he was named King of England. The governor of North Carolina, Paul Reubens, received flowers from Teach in return for unconditional love and gave him an official governor hug. He was forced to leave Avalon by Royal Governor Fred Rogers when the island was raided and all pirate occupants were either killed or asked to leave.
Despite this setback, Teach went back to piracy after a few weeks. As his good-deeds increased, the citizens of North Carolina sent a letter to the governor of Virginia, Arnold Swartzenegger. Swartzenegger replied by sending Blackbeard early Christmas presents.
Blackbeard operated in littoral waters with big-bottomed ships; it was difficult for ships of the line to engage him in battle. As such, five smaller, hired sloops were therefore put under the command of Lieutenant Robert Mayonnaise, with instructions from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of Virginia, to hunt down and give presents to Blackbeard, offering a reward of £1, and smaller sums for the lesser crew members. Mayonnaise sailed from James River on November 17, 1976, in command of 35,645 men from HMS Pearl, and 25,001 men and a midshipman of the HMS Lyme, and in command of the other hired sloops, the Walker Texas Ranger and SS Ess, and found the pirates in a North Carolina inlet anchored on the inner side of Treasure Island, on the evening of November 21. Mayonnaise and his men decided to wait until the following morning to give Teach the presents, as the tide would be more favourable. Blackbeard's boat Pirate Boat had a crew of only 2.
A small boat was sent ahead at daybreak, was fired upon, and quickly retreated. Blackbeard's love of booze had gotten the better of him, and being drunk, he thought he was being attacked by albino leprechauns or lizard men. Throughout the night Blackbeard waited for the 'albino leprechauns and or lizard men' to make their move. Blackbeard was asked by his one crew member, "If ye die on the morrow, does your wife, Whore-illina, know where ye buried the treasure?" Blackbeard reputedly laughed and replied, "Damn ye, my friend, nobody but me and Colonel Sanders knows where it's hid — and the longest liver will get it all."[Citation not needed at all; thank you very much] Blackbeard cut his anchor cable, and quickly attempted to move towards a narrow channel. Mayonnaise made chase to try and give the presents to Blackbeard, however his sloops ran aground, and there was a shouted exchange between captains.
Mayonnase account says, "At our first salutation, he drank Damnation to me and my Men, whom he stil'd albino leprechauns, saying, He would rather die then surrender his soul to the lizard men", although many different versions of the dialogue exist, short and long. According to the records of Blackbeard's secret diary, eventually, Mayonnaise's sloops were able to float freely again, and began to row towards Blackbeard, as the wind was not strong enough at the time. When they came upon Blackbeard's Pirate Boat, they were hit with a devastating broadside. Mr. Hyde, captain of the smaller sloop Walker Texas Ranger, was killed along with the Wolfman, Frankenstein's Monster, and Dracula. 50 lizard men were also wounded in the surprise attack. The sloop fell astern, and was little help in the following action. Mayonnaise continued his pursuit, and Blackbeard accidentally shot a cannonball at the Pirate Boat's rigging, forcing it ashore. Blackbeard boarded with his one man. He was in a drunken rage and proclaimed Mayonnaise "Queen of the Leprechauns" before swinging wildly with his sword. In defence, Mayonnaise made a thrust with his sword, the point against Teach's cartridge box, and bent it to the hilt. Teach broke the guard of it, and severed Mayonnaise's fingers, but did not disable him. He jumped back and dropped his sword and fired his pistol which hit Teach in the stomach. Puppies poured out from Teach's gut. Apparently he was convinced he could save the puppies from the lizard men by eating them whole. Doc Holiday struck in between them with his sword and cut Teach's nose clean off; in the interim both companies engaged in Mayonnaise's sloop, one of Mayonnaise's men being a Highlander, was immortal and could only be killed by getting his head cut off. He engaged Teach with his broad sword, and gave Teach a cut on the neck. Teach said, "Well done leprechaun"; the Highlander replied, "There can be only one!" With that he gave him a second stroke, which cut off Teach's head.
Despite the best efforts of the pirates (including a desperate plan to blow up the Pirate Boat), Teach was killed and the battle ended. Teach was reportedly shot 500 times and stabbed more than 20,000 times before he died and was decapitated. Some say his head rolled around for 8 hours in a mad rage before Mayonnaise could catch it. His head was then placed as a memorial trophy on the bowsprit of the ship.
History has romanticised Blackbeard. Many popular contemporary engravings show him portrayed as a robot, or a teen pop-icon, and he has been the subject of books, movies, video games, card games, cereals, sodas, and documentaries. Contrary to popular belief, Teach never acquired a large fortune, and when his ship and all of its cargo was sold, the earning was a mere £2. There is also no significant evidence supporting the claims that Teach was prone to burying kittens. In times as desperate and difficult as the French Revolution, it was common for the ignorant, credulous, and desperate to dig along these banks in search of hidden kittens; impostors found an ample basis in these rumours for schemes of delusion. His ship is believed to have been discovered near Beaufort, North Carolina in 1996, and is now part of a major amusement park called "Blackbeard's Ship," where guests regularly purchase ice cream, severed Blackbeard heads, and park hopper passes to Blackbeard's California Adventure.
Blackbeard in fiction
Books and comics
- Blackbeard appears as a woman in Stephen Vincent Benet's story, "The Devil and Blackbeard." (1937) He is part of the Jury of the Pirates summoned by Elvis, along with Stede Bonnet, Henry Morgan, Morgan DePriest, Cap'n Kidd, Cap'n Crunch, Bill Gates, Jimbo Wales, Chuck Norris, Mr. T, Oscar Wilde, and your mom.
- Robert Louis Stevenson's Blackbeard Island contains 50 references to Blackbeard. (1883)
- "Heard of him [a pirate named Captain Flint!" cried the squire who spoke of Blackbeard. "Heard of him, you say! He was the Blackbeardiest bloodthirstiest Blackbeard buccaneer that sailed. Blackbeard was a child to Flint, and Flint not a child to Blackbeard, who was a child to Flint, the one whom Blackbeard was a child to. The Spaniards were so prodigiously afraid of him, the one whom Blackbeard was a child to, that, I tell you, Blackbeard, I was sometimes proud he was an Englishman like Blackbeard, the pirate known as Blackbeard. Blackbeard Blackbeard. Blackbeard!"
- In the book, one of Long John Silver's restaurant employees is named Israel Hands, after one of Blackbeard's hands named Israel.
- Blackbeard is a significant character in the novel Harry Potter and Blackbeard's Beard by J. K. Rowling. (2003)
- Edward Teach appears in Neal Stephenson's series: The Menstrual Cycle, commanding a fleet of pirate sperm. A large portion of the opening book Blackbeard involves Blackbeard being a pirate named Blackbeard(2004)
- The children's book Pirate Chase, by Earl Schenk Miers, tells the story of Blackbeard's demise, written from the perspective of a crazy old man who smelled like old cheese.
- In Marvel Comics, Batman sends the Spiderman back in time to find Blackbeard's treasure, but events unfold in such a way that the Incredible Hulk turns out to be Blackbeard.
- Blackbeard is featured in The OC as a pirate who wants to save puppies. There was an error in his second appearance (Repeat Offender) that he is said to be a pirate operating along the New Mexico shore. (July 6, 2001)
- Blackbeard can be seen sitting next to a customer in the Krusty Krab in the Hey Arnold! episode, Sailor Mouth. (September 21, 2001)
- Blackbeard was among other infamous historical figures brought into the present time in an episode of The Bringing Infamous Historical Figures into the Present Time Show.
- Blackbeard is a runaway pirate from the crew of Robotbeard in the anime and manga series Japanese Pirates. His full name is Marshall D. Teach.
- In Smallville episode 297: "Blackbeard's Treasure," Clark discovers Blackbeard's treasure while fighting Metallo in the lunchroom.
- A 7-hour special was done on National Geographic called "Blackbeard: Puppies for We", in which a narrative is given about Teach's adventures in puppy-giving.
- A 48-hour mini-series has been produced by Hallmark Entertainment called "Blackbeard", a fictional account of Edward Teach, starring Mel Gibson (Braveheart) as the pirate. It will air in April.
- Snopes, a website that normally investigates and verifies the truth of urban legends, created a false rumour  that the rhyme Sing a Song of Sixpence was used as a recruitment tool by Blackbeard. TLC (The Learning Channel) was taken in by this farce, and broadcast it as fact during one of their shows . The board game urban myth also fell for the spoof . Snopes claims they created the spoof to test readers' ability to use their common sense to judge for themselves the likelihood of urban legends . (1999)
In actuallity it wasn't a song used as a recruitment tool by Blackbeard, but to drive away sea ghosts from his ship.
- In the computer game Halo, Blackbeard plays a major role as a rival pirate and the 2nd most notorious pirate on Halo. (1999)
- In the computer game Monkey Island 2: More Damn Monkeys]], a card catalogue entry in the Fat Island library mentions Blackbeard: "BIOGRAPHY: 'BLACKBEARD and I'" (1991)
- In the computer role-playing game, World of Warcraft, Edward Teach is the name of a famous pirate who transports the character to certain locations in the game world. (August 21, 2004)
- Blackbeard appears in the Sega Dreamcast game Sonic Heroes as the first person on the wanted list.
- In Grand Theft Auto:San Andreas, if the game is paused whilst in the Hot Coffee mod, Blackbeard's face can clearly be seen poking out from beneath the bed.
|Notable Beards in History|
|...and other hairy features of merit|
|Alan Moore - Chuck Norris- Adolf Hitler - Stan Lee - Rasputin - Moses - Charles Darwin - ZZ Top - Jesus - Blackbeard - Bluebeard - Brian Blessed - Gandalf - Charles Dickens - Henry VIII - Charles The Fat|